Taxodea taxus
(Taxidea taxus)
Photograph: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Interesting facts:
A badger's feet and claws are very strong. They have been known to dig their way through blacktop and concrete. They are well adapted to prairie habitat because they can dig through soil full of the tough roots of prairie plants.

Badger fur looks reddish-gray because each hair is white on the tip, black in the middle, and tan near the root. The underfur is also tan. Badgers have a white stripe from their nose down the middle of their back. Their underside is also white. The body is long, low, flat, and broad. The badger can make noises such as grunts, hisses, squeals, yaps, and purrs.

Habitat and behavior:
Badgers live in every part of Illinois except the far south. They live in open country-patures, prairies, railroad rights-of-way, shoulders of highways, alfalfa fields, and brushy areas.

Badgers mate in summer. One to five young are born the next spring. The young are almost bald and their eyes are closed for about one month.

Badgers are nocturnal, that is, they are active at night. They feed mostly on mammals that use burrows, such as thirteen-lined ground squirrels, woodchucks, plains pocket gophers, and voles.

Distribution and status:
They live in many parts of Illinois. Predators are coyotes and dogs. Many are killed by vehicles on roads.